Trump blasts Dem push to abolish ICE: 'Zero chance'

President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump nominates ambassador to Turkey Trump heads to Mar-a-Lago after signing bill to avert shutdown CNN, MSNBC to air ad turned down by Fox over Nazi imagery MORE on Saturday blasted the progressive push to abolish U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), praising the agency for its work to “liberate” towns from gang violence.

“The Democrats are making a strong push to abolish ICE, one of the smartest, toughest and most spirited law enforcement groups of men and women that I have ever seen,” he tweeted. “I have watched ICE liberate towns from the grasp of MS-13 & clean out the toughest of situations. They are great!”

"To the great and brave men and women of ICE, do not worry or lose your spirit," he wrote in a second tweet. "You are doing a fantastic job of keeping us safe by eradicating the worst criminal elements. So brave! The radical left Dems want you out. Next it will be all police. Zero chance, It will never happen!"

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Trump’s tweets come a few days after democratic socialist candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who ran on a platform calling for the elimination of ICE, beat 10-term incumbent Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-N.Y.) in a primary. 

Calls to abolish the agency have grown among progressives, activists and on social media amid criticism over Trump’s immigration policies, and the movement has begun to gain traction among lawmakers.

Sen. Kirsten GillibrandKirsten Elizabeth GillibrandNewsom endorses Kamala Harris for president Trump tweets video mocking Dems not cheering during State of the Union Omar: Next president should declare national emergency on climate change ‘on day 1’ MORE (D-N.Y.) on Thursday became the first sitting senator to call for ICE to be abolished, saying it has become “a deportation force.” 

"I think you should separate out the criminal justice from the immigration issues," Gillibrand said. "I think you should reimagine ICE under a new agency, with a very different mission, and take those two missions out … you should get rid of it, start over, reimagine it and build something that actually works."

Sens. Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersNewsom endorses Kamala Harris for president Business, conservative groups slam Trump’s national emergency declaration Poll: Sanders, Biden seen as most popular second choices in Dem primary MORE (I-Vt.) and Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisNewsom endorses Kamala Harris for president Constitutional conservatives need to oppose the national emergency Overnight Health Care — Sponsored by America's 340B Hospitals — Dems blast rulemaking on family planning program | Facebook may remove anti-vaccine content | Medicare proposes coverage for new cancer treatment MORE (D-Calif.) have demanded that ICE be examined, but have stopped short of calling for its abolition. In the House, Rep. Mark PocanMark William PocanHannity decries Green New Deal as 'economically guaranteed-to-be-devastating' Ocasio-Cortez unveils Green New Deal climate resolution Trump’s AIDS turnaround greeted with skepticism by some advocates MORE (D-Wis.) introduced legislation to eliminate ICE, citing Trump’s handling of the agency.

ICE arrests of immigrants with no criminal convictions have increased dramatically under the Trump administration. Those calling for the agency's abolition have said that ICE is being used to "terrorize" immigrant communities through raids and targeted arrests.